A Laugh

Today: I wander on hands
and knees—weary, visual
sweep in a den of primary
colors and day-old loot ro-
tated with yesterday’s loot
mixed with gifts shelved
months ago, while he mut-
ters to a TV screen, dis-

A grey grain of cat litter. A-
nother. Beneath the piano’s eerie
claw-legged arc, blackened fruit
peel, a stray unpopped corn kernel
shiny as a watered pearl. Outside,
the lot with its crawl of machines
and men, blithe plumes of dust
veiling rattled windows framing
a yellow crane lumbering on: sad
beast, savage sucked out of it.
In my quick, private silence:

Dvorak, always his No. 9,
No. 9, No. 9. That day?
O my fine drugged hours,
swirly room, suns burst-
ing locked centers, peace
reigning in a drip, in a drip in-
to me as he slumbered or stared,
making even the used bed glow.
Together we were stunning
by dark or day, tight in a bond
of fresh deeds; envied. I pocket
the litter grain, kernel, the lot
nattering on: tremors, another
ghastly beast passing, wetted
dirt cramming slow
jaws. He is riveted

by the ADD puppet on the screen.
Look: miniature gaze of a minute
man processing an actor’s lines—
not one year accomplished since those friends
I loved quailed from the 3D O
of expanding belly, from miracle-
workings, unable to express why
in language other than im-
penetrable as I rocked him,
as I rock him into day, into night
in this shook hole (shock-
hole), continually saving a life.
The puppet laughs, red as a devil,
jittery-bold giggles testing jump-
ing minds of those gone rock-
ing to sway, rock, sway.
Today: O my tiny poverty!
O secret strain!